The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals delayed the implementation of Arizona's law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which was set to go into effect Thursday.
A federal district court judge ruled Monday that the law would be allowed to go into effect, but the ACLU and Center of Reproductive Rights filed an emergency to appeal to delay the implementation following the decision.
It will now be more than two months before it's known whether the law will go into effect. The ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights -- which filed the complaint on behalf of three Arizona physicians and their patients -- have until September 4 to file a brief arguing why the law is unconstitutional. The state will then need to file its response by October 3.
"We have fought to keep all medical options, including abortion, available to every woman facing devastating complications in her pregnancy, and today we have won a critical victory," Center of Reproductive Rights president Nancy Thorpe says in a statement.
U.S. District Judge James Teilborg ruled Monday that the abortion law is constitutional, citing the suspect "evidence" that was the basis of the law.
"The Arizona Legislature cited to the substantial and well-documented evidence that an unborn child has the capacity to feel pain during an abortion by at least twenty weeks gestational age," Teilborg wrote in Monday's decision.
The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of appeals didn't provide specific explanation of why the court granted the appeal.
"We will continue this battle now to ensure that the private and personal decisions of Arizona women are not subject to arbitrary and dangerous restrictions advanced by an extreme anti-choice agenda," Thorpe says.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.